Letter from the Editor: I do know what I don’t know

Written By Dara Collins, Editor-in-Chief

Lately, I have been reflecting on the past three years I have spent at this university. In the fall of 2016, I began my journey at Point Park University pursuing a degree in Journalism. I declared a minor in Multimedia after my sophomore year, and I am now about to start my final year with a clearer picture than I started with just three years ago.

But it certainly is not crystal clear.

In high school, I realized my love for writing. As an inexperienced 18-year-old, the only career paths that crossed my mind were author and journalist. I was never much of a bookworm, so author was out. By process of elimination, I set my sights on journalism.

Fast forward to three months after my high school graduation, and I’m in my first semester at Point Park. From day one, I have been involved at The Globe. Also, on day one, I quit – but I’ll get back to that later.

I remember when Professor Gina Catanzarite showed my Survey of Mass Communication class the starting salaries for each discipline in the School of Communication, and almost every single student’s facial expression twisted in horror.

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Keith Paylo added the title of Professor, when he taught my section of City University Life. Near the end of the semester, I recall him asking the class if we planned to change our major or if we would stick with our current path.

As a college freshman, I should have watched my mouth a little more. I responded to Dean Paylo with, “I’m not going to half-ass my job.”

Freshman year came and went. I finished with good grades, great friends and even better experiences. During the first semester of my sophomore year, I shadowed AT&T SportsNet at high school football games with five other students. I came to Point Park with a heavy focus on writing, and that experience solidified that television just wasn’t for me.

As the second semester of my second year began, I started my first internship at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC as a marketing and communications intern. I worked with social media, took photographs, wrote – the whole nine yards. This was the first experience that really piqued my interest in marketing, and served as the main reason why I added a minor in Multimedia to expand my knowledge in other areas of communication.

I often doubted myself, my skills and my career throughout my junior year. This feeling waned the second semester, but I still found myself significantly less confident in my future than when I arrived at Point Park.

Just when I thought that wave of doubt would never crash, I found myself living in my highest high. I traveled to the United Kingdom with the International Media class this past May, and I would not trade that experience for all the money in the world.

My biggest takeaway from the information the media professionals shared with us was it’s okay to not have a concrete plan, it’s okay to not know everything and it’s absolutely okay to change your mind. Most of the professionals we spoke to began their careers in another area of communication and now lead very successful careers.

Most recently, I finished a co-op with PJ Dick – Trumbull – Lindy Paving. If you’re not familiar with the name, it’s a construction company. I walked through dust and dirt in steel toe boots and a hard hat with a camera in one hand and another slung across my chest.

Now, you might find yourself wondering, ”What is the point of this girl telling me her life story?”

When I applied to this university, I had no idea I would ever find myself working in sports, healthcare or construction, but I have done all three in the span of three years.

The point I want to make is, it is perfectly okay, I dare to even say normal, to not have any clue what you want to do right now.

I came to Point Park with no idea what I was getting into with journalism, and I have certainly steered away from a journalism focus in the last few months – and that’s okay.

I wanted to make a career out of something I really enjoy: writing. While I still love writing, I do not believe I want to write all day every day – and that’s okay. I changed my mind, and it’s okay for you to change your mind, too.

Remember when I said I quit my first day at The Globe? My byline now identifies me as the Editor-in-Chief. I used to be a copy editor (for about two hours), a staff writer, Co-Sports Editor and Editor-Elect, and I remember thinking Dean Paylo was crazy for asking me if I would ever consider becoming the Editor-in-Chief of this paper.

But here I am, and there you are, making decisions that have an unknown outcome and will lead to a bright future you never expected.